Why Bilinguals are Ruling the Job Market while Monolinguals are Left Behind

There are several benefits to knowing a second language. Many of them pertain to better paying and more interesting employment opportunities. In today’s hyperconnected global society, bilingual job seekers are more valuable than ever. Here’s why:

You Become A More Rational Thinker

According to researcher Boaz Keysar of UChicago, “foreign language provides a distancing mechanism that moves people from the immediate intuitive system to a more deliberate mode of thinking.”

There was a study at the University of Chicago where they gave a group of bilingual Spanish students $15 and asked them to bet on 15 coin tosses. If they called it right, they would win $1.50. If they got it wrong, they would lose the one dollar that they bet. Because the odds were 50/50, statistically speaking, it was in their best interest to bet every time.

When the students were spoken to in English, they only bet about half of the time because they were too distracted by the emotionally driven fear of losing. Instead of thinking rationally, they based each bet on the results of the previous tosses.

When the students were given the experiment in Spanish, they bet on more than 70% of the tosses. This is because they were able to remove their fear of losing and instead think about what was truly the best decision.

Knowing a second language won’t just help with predicting coin tosses either. It will also help make non-emotional business decisions in the professional world. Indeed, rational thinkers make valuable employees.


You Become a More Culturally Sensitive and Worldly Person

Not only does knowing a foreign language make you think rationally, but it also makes you more sensitive and tolerant. When learning a second language, you not only learn the words and sentence structure, but you also learn the customs and culture of the country from which the language comes. This also makes you look more valuable to employers.

For example, imagine if a major S&P 500 company has two prospective employees. This hypothetical company is based in Bogotá, Colombia. One employee lives in Bogotá, and the other lives in New York City. The person in New York will easily be chosen over the local one because the person in New York has interacted on a daily basis in a foreign language in a cosmopolitan city with people from cultures from all sides of the earth. Simply by living in a foreign country and learning a foreign culture, you will increase your chances tremendously of landing your dream job.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Some Stats On The Bilingual Job Market

According to the Department of Labor, interpreter and translator jobs are expected to be one of the top 15 fastest growing occupations in the United States. In fact, between 2010 and 2020, an expected 25,000 new jobs are expected to open for interpreters and translators.

Interpreter jobs within the U.S. pay a healthy $43,000. If that’s not enough, there are also tons of intelligence jobs abroad that will pay up to six figure salaries. There were close to 37,000 military jobs posted by the Department of Defense in 2012 alone. And if you’re not interested in working for the government, bilinguals are also needed in medicine, law, information technology, publishing, finance, hospitality, education, customer service, and many many other industries. Regardless of your career, learning a second language will always put you ahead of your competitors.

Get started today by taking a free online language level test, offered by Language Trainers. Join our social community to hear about more bilingual job perks or contact us to arrange your first language course.